‘Chiu on This’ is a short and regular opinion blast
Yesterday Xian posted an image from the book Atomic Habits. In the small excerpt it talks about three levels of change. The first level is where you change the results. The second level is you change the process. The third level is changing your identity. He then brings up the example of someone quitting smoking and the subtle, but critical shift in identity from one refusal to another. Someone is offered a smoke and two different examples come up. In one example, the person refuses because they are trying to quit. In the other, the person refuses because they are not a smoker.
It’s a profound way of thinking about changing your process by changing your identity. In esports competition however, I think the roles are reversed. In his model your identity defines your process which changes the result. In esports competition you have no identity or process to begin with. You only have the result when you are laddering which generally gives you two outputs: Win or lose.
It doesn’t define how or why you won or lost, only that you did. As competitive beings, we search for immediate endorphin rewards through victory. So the result is you want to win. The process slowly becomes defined by how you get that result. Those two levels eventually form your identity as a player.
It is at that point, where change is the hardest to come by as players have ingrained their habits and processes to define what they are. However it isn’t impossible and so I’ll give two examples to explain this point: Snax and Xyp9x. Both players actually started as star players at the beginning of CS:GO. They played the game and both players found that they had the skill set to become star players. Both players wanted to continue to win and so this created a divergence for both players. In Snax’s case he continued to be a star player in Virtus.Pro and his mentality has stayed the same ever since. In Xyp9x’s case, his identity was originally a star, but he came to the conclusion that for the results he wanted, he needed to play with the dev1ce/dupreeh combo. As there was no room for him to play as a star with them, he changed his identity to be a support player and that identity shift changed his skill set and processes until he eventually became the player we know today.
That change that Xyp9x made is an incredibly hard shift to make. We know this because Snax recently tried to do that shift himself when he joined Mouz. He truly believed there was no such thing as the support role and because he was unable to change his identity, he was unable to change the processes that were needed to change the results he wanted for Mouz.
Hopefully that explains how habits and results can define our identities in esports players and how in turn, changing your identity can also change your processes and eventually your results.